Thursday 30 April 2009

Finnish It Up (FIU) Challenge

I had a great time last weekend in Grimsby on a last minute quilting retreat. It was great to get away and be more creative and productive. At home I'm so stifled by all that is going on, I'm struggling. In fact its draining! So as well as putting on a couple of bindings, moving on another project, I managed to turn this pile of fabric into something that closely resembles a quilt centre. Just in need of a little light trim and borders and its will be ready to quilt. Yayyy!
So this is how far it got. The fabrics were donated, all genuine African fabrics from Uganda. The brief was to make a lap quilt. Can't be difficult, surely!
I have also been nursing this project and decided to nominate it for my declared FIU project to be done by May 22nd. Although I pieced this top last year, It has been coveting its backing and wadding for the last week, loafing around the house, whining at me to move it on some! So Monday I took iron in hand, pressed the top and backing, measured off some wadding and loaded it up on the frame. I even managed to do some quilting on it! The plan is to get it done over this coming bank holiday weekend, so I can also finish the African top above and have it loaded, quilted and off before my group meeting on Tuesday pm. We'll see. Nothing like a deadline to make you rise to the challenge!

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Postal Surprises

I had a great weekend, its seems funny blogging about it now, but hey, its been a busy week! After a mammoth fabric shopping spree, Doughty's came for their annual fabric sale, I went to visit a local quilt show about an hour from here. Its always good to see what other quilters have been up to and what has been inspiring them. Especially when its your birthday too! My daughter baked me a beautiful chocolate cake, we are still wading our way through it, well, it would be rude not too!
As you can imagine, I was absolutely delighted when the postman knocked on the door with a package or two for me on Monday morning. And as you can see, I was right to be! Not only did I receive my package from Pat Sloan, but also the new book by Jennifer Chiaverini. I have so many ideas running round my head for this diamond project, I just need to find the time! Do I sew or do I read?

Friday 17 April 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Whilst I was surfing the net recently, through Qubie's blog, via Quilt Dad's blog to Amy, who is running the first Annual Bloggers Quilt Festival. Yaaaay! You'll find a link on the side, go have a look at all the other bloggers quilts. We are all posting about our favourite quilt.
So this is my favourite quilt, known as the Boston Quilt. The pattern is called Waterfalls from the book Big 'n Easy by Judy Hopkins. We went on holiday to Boston, MA in 2007 and having researched the area for quilt shops (come on! you're not telling me you don't do a little 'research' when on a road trip... surely he he) Anyway, I took the pattern with me so I knew exactly what to buy. Whilst we were there, one colour just seemed to be predominant at that time, what I would call Duck Egg Blue. It was everywhere, even on the wall in our hotel! So that was the starting point for the colour choice. So out we travelled to the quilt shop in Cambridge, armed with my 10% off voucher from the internet, the bus driver knew the stop we had asked for and the target was found. Inside, I'm not sure the ladies knew what to make of this strange British couple piling bolt after bolt onto the counter. Sixteen different blues is a lot to get together, and make sure they all play nicely too. The poor ladies were itching to start cutting. And cut they did!

The soft buttery yellow batik is just right, and for me reminds me of the glorious sunshine we had during our stay. The pattern it makes represents all the walking we did, and what a wonderful city it is. This quilt is full of memories of our time in Boston. I gave it to my partner for Valentines day last year, and it is on his bed in his cottage.

When the ladies were cutting, I rounded up the requirements so was lucky enough to have fabrics left over. I am in the middle of making another quilt from these leftovers. Fondly known as my Boston Diversion.

Thursday 16 April 2009

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I fell across this on my travels around blogland! Check out Park City Girl's blog through the link on the right to read all about it. I'm excited to see who is posting what :o)

Inspirational Day - Part 2

I went rummaging into my fabric stash, I loved these colours, randomly cut strips and bits up, laid them out.

I spent most of last night piecing them together. I'm pretty pleased with the results, so far.

What do you think?

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Inspirational Day

It has to be said that some days just ooze inspiration. Today was one of those days for me. A friend and colleague has an exhibition of her paintings and other members of her botanical art society at Alford Manor House. This is a great house to visit with centuries of history, but mostly a passion for local produce and crafts. Just around the corner (quite literally) is the Alford Pottery, local potters doing their thing in a fabulous way.
I have to say I feel a little inspirational free piecing coming on! Thank you has to go to Bumble Beans for reminding me to really look and feel what I see around me. Hope you like my purchases, and will post pictures of my inspirational work as soon as its done.
For now, I'm off to my office for some inspirational direction :o)

Monday 13 April 2009

Orange Pile Challenge - Revealed!

I loved doing this quilt, from the very concept of digging out my own Orange Pile of fabrics, to the simple block design, and how it could be manipulated with colour, mixing the colours up, all through the frenzied facebook exchanges. I take my hat off to Pat Sloan for organising this challenge, because the results across the world have been amaizing!

I had SO MUCH orange fabric, I was almost shocked! Well, a girl has got to have a good mix of colours in her stash surely? (LOL) It was easy to choose a 'buddy' for my orange and then complete the team line-up. But when I got to mix up the colours even more, these blocks just spoke sherbet dib dabs to me! Or even a spot of Mango sorbet! Seeing what everyone else was doing through Facebook was very inspirational, and a good driver to push out my own boundaries. I was so pleased I could squeeze a little of my favourite colour, lime green, into this quilt too. Would I change anything? No, this quilt just speaks to me, and tells its own story of the process, to me anyway.

When it came to the setting, it was easy, it just had to be on point, no matter which way round you put it on the bed, its always going to be the right way round! The borders were a a little more challenging, I was going to use some of the turquoise flower fabric, but it just made it look 'dead'. Another rummage came up with the final border fabric, I just didn't have anything else that did it. I was determined not to have to go out and buy any more fabric, this little baby was coming totally out of my stash.

As you know, if you've read my earlier post, i tried a new quilting technique out on this one. It was great fun, and I have to thank Suzanne Earley for the push into something I absolutely love! OK, so again, another learning process, but I am so pleased with the results of this quilt. Quilting it was such fun, and so quick. I used Superior Threads Rainbows in Mango Mango. I love the way these threads shimmer, and the varigated colours were just perfect. Check out Mother Superiors Blog, they have some great reading. I've done this mandering feather technique again on another quilt, and I am truly a convert to Meandering Magic.

So my OP Challenge is finally revealed for all to see. I hope you like it as much as I do. It's made it to the bed, and its like waking up to sunshine not matter what the weather is doing.

Saturday 11 April 2009

Happy Easter

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Easter, whatever you are doing and however you choose to celebrate.

Monday 6 April 2009

Warm and Cozy

Over the last few days, in between quilting, making really stupid mistakes,(Doh!) I have actually finished another quilt. This was once a kit, many years ago, from The Bramble Patch, of lovely warm soft cozy flannels. It's been waiting patiently for the right moment to quilt it, and its time finally came. So to go with the warm fuzzy top was a warm fuzzy backing in the form of some lovely polar fleece. So, whoever ends up with this one will be able snuggle down and be nice and warm and cozy.

Saturday 4 April 2009

You Know your're tired when...

Ever had one of those moments or days? You know, when your know you are tired, but you fight it and fight it, till something tells you its time to give in ... And it depends on what you were doing too, doesn't it. So, this evening I knew I was tired when ... when I discovered that I had loaded up the backing of a quilt the wrong way up. You know that sinking feeling when you find that seam allowance showing, Aaaaaaah! Was it too late to rip out what I had already done and start again with the back the right way round? Oh yes! So I have resigned myself not to worry too much about it, after all, I am just practicing some more meandering magic on an old quilt top. But boy was I mad!!!
Have you ever had one of those 'you know you're tired when... ' moments? My most marked moment has to be told. You know you're tired when you get up in the morning to find you have put on your pajamas on inside out, and even managed to button up the front too!!! Yes I really did do that!
So come on, tell me one of your funny 'you know you're tired when...' stories. Surely you can do better than mine! Now there's a challenge :o)

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Sneaky Peak

I thought I'd give you a sneak peak at the quilting on my OP Challenge. I'm busy sewing the binding on at the moment, but thought I would share some of the quilting with you, I was so thrilled with the results :o) This was my very first attempt at some from Suzzane Earley. And I LOVED it, it was so quick to do. It fills the quilt with soft curves of beauty.

I only practised on one piece of paper before I set about quilting. And I don't think I did a bad job of it either. (If you click on the pic you should get a better look) Yes there were a few wobbly moments, particularly when I had meandered all over the top and found handfuls of excess backing, I could have cried. Needless to say, because it is so heavily quilted, yes there are pleats on the back, but they are no where near as bad as I thought they were going to be. So, no, its not perfect, but it is a great learning piece, that from the front, I'm really pleased with, and I can live with the back too. So tell me, honestly, what do you think to the show so far?

Happy quilting :o)